Japan is considering a tsunami warning system that involves analyzing the erratic behavior of animals as a predictor of incremental weather conditions.
- (Photo: Kydod/Reuters)
In the past, long before officials were able to predict a coming natural disaster, animals have often fled to safety. It is believed the animals may have more acute senses that allow them to feel the vibration of the earth long before the actual incident occurs.
Yoshihito Myojin, the deputy mayor of Susaki, which lies on Japan's coast, is now considering using the animals' sort of sixth sense as a tool for predicting when a tsunami might occur.
"They may not foretell a future disaster in a perfectly accurate manner, but the most important is to analyse such data thoroughly," Myojin said according to a regional broadcaster last month.
Before a large tsunami struck Sri Lanka in 2005, a number of animals began to act strangely and seek cover.
"Elephants screamed and ran for higher ground, dogs refused to go outdoors, flamingos abandoned their low-lying breeding areas, and zoo animals rushed into their shelters and could not be enticed to come back out," the National Geographic reported.
Just before the Japan tsunami occurred in April of this year, a number of people also reported erratic animal behavior. Some animals sought out higher shelter while others became anxious or distressed.
Geologist James Berkland told PBS during a television interview that he has been accurately predicting earthquakes for the past 31 years; his method involves looking through the lost pet ads. According to Berkland, the number of pets that go missing dramatically spikes just before a storm hits. In 1989 Berkland successfully predicted the World Series Quake, reporting it to the local paper days before the disaster occurred.
Japan may now utilize a similar tactic, in addition to monitoring drops in water levels at wells.